Comair Flight 3272

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Comair Flight 3272
Embraer EMB-120RT Brasilia, Comair AN0214402.jpg
A Comair Embraer EMB-120, similar to the one involved.
Accident summary
Date January 9, 1997
Summary Atmospheric icing
leading to loss of control
Site Monroe, Michigan, USA
41°57′48.08″N 83°33′8.39″W / 41.9633556°N 83.5523306°W / 41.9633556; -83.5523306Coordinates: 41°57′48.08″N 83°33′8.39″W / 41.9633556°N 83.5523306°W / 41.9633556; -83.5523306
Passengers 26
Crew 3
Fatalities 29 (all)
Survivors 0
Aircraft type Embraer 120 RT Brasilia
Operator Comair (as Delta Connection)
Registration N265CA
Flight origin Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport
Destination Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport

Comair Flight 3272 was a Comair flight departing on January 9, 1997, from Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport for the Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport. While on approach for landing, the aircraft, an Embraer EMB 120 Brasilia, crashed nose-down 18 miles short of the airport. All aboard, 26 passengers and three crew members, died as a result of the accident.[1]

Passengers and Crew[edit]

There was 26 passengeers on board the Embraer 120, registered as N265CA. There were two crew members in the cockpit and an flight attendant in the cabin. The Captain was Daniel Carlson (42), who was in command of Flight 3272 at the time of the crash. The First Officer was Kenneth Reese (29), who was second in command of the aircraft.


The National Transportation Safety Board determined that the probable cause was inadequate standards for icing operations while in flight, specifically the failure of the Federal Aviation Administration to establish adequate minimum airspeeds for icing conditions, leading to a loss of control when the airplane accumulated a thin, rough accretion of ice on its lifting surfaces.

A contributing factor was the decision of the crew to operate in icing conditions while near the lower end of the flight envelope while the flaps were retracted. Comair had not previously established unambiguous minimum airspeed values for flap configurations and for flight in icing conditions.


The investigation into the crash was covered in "Deadly Myth", a 2017 episode of Mayday, a Canadian television series about air crashes.[2]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]